New documents reveal Facebook told the federal government it would build a data centre in Canada in exchange for the guarantee that they would not have control over data belonging to non-Canadians.
The Globe and Mail reported that a memo from 2013 showed chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg had pushed then-industry minister Christian Paradis to issue a letter that would promise the Canadian government would not ask to take control of any of this data. Facebook built that data centre in Iowa eventually.
“Sheryl took a firm approach and outlined that a decision on the data center was imminent. She emphasized that if we could not get comfort from the Canadian government on the jurisdiction issue we had other options,” Marnie Levine, Facebook’s former vice-president of global public policy, wrote in the memo.
The memo was discovered in internal Facebook documents the British Parliament seized as part of an investigation.
“Before we commit to opening a data centre anywhere in the world, we want to make sure we fully understand the country’s laws and privacy protections,” Facebook told the Globe and Mail in an email. “This is not a threat to withhold investment, but part of our duty to protect people’s data.”
Facebook in the statement, denied any claims of extreme lobbying of the federal government.
Source: The Globe and Mail